[WPILib Blog] Bringing Python to FRC

Posted on the WPILib Blog, 10/15/2022: https://wpilib.org/blog/bringing-python-to-frc

But wait, you ask, isn’t Python already available for FRC? You’re right! Python has been available to teams for programming FRC robots since 2011, so this isn’t exactly new news. Even though RobotPy has been a community project not officially supported by FIRST, over 45 teams successfully used it to program their robots during the 2022 competition season.

What is new? We’re pleased to announce that WPILib is bringing RobotPy into the family, with the goal of making Python an officially supported language for the 2024 season!

What about the 2023 season? While it’s not going to be officially supported by FIRST at events during the 2023 season (so a similar state of support as previous years), we’ll be adding Python documentation and examples to the WPILib docs, aligning release cadences, and doing other things to integrate it with the rest of WPILib. We’re especially looking forward to working with the FRC community and CSAs to build familiarity with the language and tools over the coming year so we’re ready for a 2024 launch!

FAQs

  • Are Java, C++, or LabView going away? Definitely not! We know teams have knowledge and resources for their current language choice. We’re working to add Python as a supported language to enable more teams to feel comfortable with FRC programming. We continue to recommend teams use the language they feel most comfortable with.
  • How do I get Python support during the build season and at events? In 2023, you will have the same support Python teams always have! When officially adopted, CSAs and other key volunteer training will be updated.
  • Will FIRST definitely make Python an option in 2024? We are working with FIRST to make it happen, but the exact rollout season is going to depend on it being ready. Right now we believe 2024 is achievable, but continue to follow the WPILib Blog for updates on the project.
  • How can I help? As with WPILib, RobotPy is an open project that all members of the FIRST community can easily and quickly contribute to. See the RobotPy documentation for more information on contributing. If you run into a problem with RobotPy that you think is a bug, or perhaps there is something wrong with the documentation or just too difficult to do, please feel free to file bug reports on the GitHub issue tracker.
  • For other frequently asked questions about RobotPy features, see the RobotPy FAQ.
  • Is Python awesome? Yes it is!
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Woooot!

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This is amazing news.

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Fantastic!

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I genuinely never thought this day would come. Did I accidentally slip into a parallel timeline or something?

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tumblr_n0jc5zTZc11rn95k2o1_500

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Awesome!!!

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Official Support has been a large part of why I’ve never considered RobotPy and stuck with Java the entire 10 years I’ve been involved with FRC for. Now it seems 3468 may have some interesting decisions to make in 2024 or 2025 on whether to keep going with Java or swap over to Python.

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Thank @Peter_Johnson and all the amazing people at WPI and RobotPy for making this happen. YOU MADE MY DAY

-Russ

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I’m personally very excited about this. My hope is that this will drive more adoption this year, and that a lot of new faces can help out this year to iron out some of the rough edges and push RobotPy into official status next year.

In particular, there’s lots of relatively easy work to be done for updating documentation and adding example code. I’m also looking for more feedback on challenges with robotpy, and to make our install process even better.

Another big challenge will be figuring out the right way to integrate with existing WPILib installation/tooling processes. Lots of room for people to contribute if you want to help out. Best way to talk more about this is to chat with us on gitter.

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So glad to see this! Python is really good for novice and experienced programmers alike, and I’m happy to see it finally getting the love it deserves from FIRST!

This year I’ve been having my team shift its programming to Python (partially because I kind of saw this coming in the next year or two), but I’ve met with some resistance from the other mentors. Nice to see that I retroactively have the justification of being forward-thinking!

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This is coming at a really good time for us.
Chatfield Robotics is starting a rookie team, Team 9068, The Chargers, this year and we have been trying to decide which language to use.
With the basic nature of what we should be building this year, using Python, not “officially” supported for 2023 but officially in 2024, make really good sense!

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This is great news. Thanks to all that helped make this happen!

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Time for the where’s python train to turn into the where’s rust train

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Technically robots will run Rust eventually when the NI kernel is at 6.1…

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Awesome!!!

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Someone has to actually drive the train though.

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The RIO 1 and RIO 2 will never run a 6.x kernel in a competition. Marnack has spoken.

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This makes me a happy lil’ code monkey

(Want to make me even happier? Provide FTC support too :grin: )